Dhow cruise in the Musandam Peninsula

Trip Start Sep 03, 2007
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Trip End Apr 06, 2011


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Flag of Oman  ,
Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It was an early start as our convoy of 25 people and 7 4WD's headed north towards Oman.  Our destination was Khasab Harbour in the Musamdan Peninsula (Oman) for a day of dhow cruising around the Khors (Islands).  We were to be there for a 9.30 departure....little did we know that it would take us 6 hours to arrive (usually only 2 and a bit!).  When we finally arrived at the border we found mayhem and chaos (they go hand in hand). All my years traveling I have never seen a border quiet like this.  B and I threw ourselves and our passports into the throng of hundreds.  There was no order to it, just get in and push!  First we had to pay for our exit stamps and fill out the cards, then you needed to "line up" separately to have your stamp issued....in theory it should be easy.  Well 2 hours later we were still jammed in the crowd.  Where were all these people going?  This is usually a very quiet border crossing?  It was the Eid holiday, but still...this was CRAZY!!!  Us girls pulled the woman's advantage (we could not be amongst all those men rubbing up against us) and after a bit of begging and persistence we managed to get all 25 passports stamped at the side door (although immigration were reluctant to do so, it did not help that one of our party decided to argue with him!)....any passports stamped off we went, but that was just the UAE side!  The Oman side was alot easier, but by the time the rest of the convoy came through (some had gone ahead to the harbour) it was getting late.  The drive down to Khasab is spectacular and very windy and a definite highlight.

When we finally did get on our dhow (and after some confusion with booking's and companies) we set sail.  Out onto the Strait of  Hormuz and around into Khor ash-Sham. The waters were aqua blue and inviting surrounded by rocky mountains and craggy cliffs.  We snorkeled in a little bay with a sunken barge which had a plane on it.  We saw dolphins swimming and we stopped by Telegraph Island, which was home to a British telegraphic relay station in the 19th century.  It is believe that the term "going round the bend" originate from this tiny island because it was tucked around the bend of this remote khor and drove many of the workers mad.

After a lunch of biriyani, chicken, salad and beans, washed down with cold beers, we all lazed around on big comfy traditional cushions and just relaxed in the hot sun, occasionally stopping to take a quick dip.

When we finally made our way back into Khasab it was dark (making up for time lost this morning) and we all fell exhausted into our cars to make the trip back (and some of those went onto find a patch of beach to camp on for the night).  We had to head back to Dubai and after making the windy trip back to the border, we found the same mess as we did this morning (and still just on the UAE side).  By the time we reached home we were tired but happy.
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